Short stories of interest
The 1980s. Beginning of the long decade, the century’slate works. Snow on the grid, field bisectedby a late model John Deere’s progress in low gearwith a front-end load of straw bales. Its operator’s daughterdons her brace, thinks her scoliosis the devil’s workon her, a not-good-enough Christian. Her mother talksscripture on the phone in the kitchen […]
Dogs of the world, anonymouswanderers, moral conundrums,I find them by the road,scavenging milk cartonsthrown from the bus:feist pups galled with mange,old hounds, blind and lame,at the end of their utility. Such I once whispered secrets toand begged to keepand was commandedto lead into the woodsto execute and bury.And my father was not a bad man.And […]
I.(The pursed turf blowing bubbles.)(A broken string of freshwater pearlsor molars impacted in a grassy gum.) (Firm, the female smell on your fingers),(edible, packed with cool, white roe; the fried flesha savoury foam). (It roosts on its byssus of fine, mycelial hair, and scans the rare vapour-trails and glimmers in the dark–ening, and ripens in its socket.) II.
The first time I went for a bikini wax, I had no idea what I was getting into. Friends with standing appointments and a landmark episode of Sex and the City had prepared me for pain, but—now in my thirties and having survived the various types of pain a feminine life can bring, short of […]
As I write this, CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi is on Twitter tweeting (crowing?) about the success of Canada Reads 2012. For the first time in the eleven-year history of the Survivor-esque best-book competition, every one of the five books under discussion ended up on The Globe and Mail top ten list of Canadian best-sellers.
The first time I worked through here–see how little I knew– first gorgeWest of the Livingstone Range, I was callingInto badger holes, poking sticks down the throatsFor Irish monks.Pitted, pine snow a vinegary bulge against wet rockAt 5,000 feet, burnt trees to the top,Turtle Mountain, from Lost Creek Fire, sunA fingernail scrape in bachelor kettle […]
It began with a phone call. Peter Baker, a Canadian veterinarian with a small animals practice in Johannesburg, South Africa, wanted me to come to Bookbedonnerd III, a literary festival in the Great Karoo Desert village of Richmond. Peter’s partner in the festival, Darryl David, had located my novel The Great Karoo (about western Canadians […]
Surely, many of us have played the old parlour game of “who would you rather have over for dinner” with literary figures: Virginia Woolf or Jane Austen? Charles Dickens or Ernest Hemingway? William Butler Yates or Bob Dylan? Michael Ondaatje or Ian Binnie?! Wait a minute. Ian who?
Abbie Hoffman, social activist and professional shit-disturber of the nineteen-sixties once said, “The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.” Since my godmother, Karen, is manifestly a child of the Sixties, I’ve decided to blame Hoffman for her recent stealth exercise in social agitation—though Karen says it all began with her […]